HubSpot vs. Salesforce: Which CRM To Choose in 2021?
The decision between CRM tools like HubSpot vs. Salesforce can strongly influence your overall business strategy and growth.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is integral to maintaining your company’s reputation and consumer base. Both HubSpot and Salesforce market themselves as the premier CRM software to help you reach this goal.
While analyzing HubSpot vs. Salesforce will likely show a lot of similarities highlighting their readiness towards achieving this objective, it’s only fair to wonder which CRM platform truly outperforms its competition.
To that end, here you will find an informed analysis of HubSpot vs. Salesforce, addressing their performance in the following categories:
- Key Features
- Automation Functionalities
- Reporting & Analytics
Stay tuned to find out which CRM platform performs best between HubSpot vs. Salesforce!
HubSpot vs. Salesforce: Side-by-Side Comparison
First and foremost, a HubSpot vs. Salesforce side-by-side comparison is one of the best ways to compare and contrast the features of each CRM tool and how well these tools execute their features for the benefit of interested businesses.
HubSpot and Salesforce each use their own tier system to chart prices.
For example, you can choose to implement a Marketing, Sales, and Service Hub into your base HubSpot CRM software. Within each of these hubs, there are Starter, Professional, and Enterprise plans.
Starter plans start at $50 per month but depending on which hub you choose, you can end up paying as much as $3200 a month, which adds up to $38,400 over the course of a year. And that’s only for one hub.
That said, there is a way to get started for free with HubSpot’s CRM platform. For zero dollars down, you can get email and forms from the Marketing Hub, a sales CRM from the Sales Hub, and help desk tools from the Service Hub.
This is opposed to Salesforce which isn’t free at all. Salesforce tiers are Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited. Prices range up with the tiers, starting at $25 per month and peaking at $300 per month.
Pay attention and you’ll notice that while Salesforce isn’t offering any freebies, it might be cheaper in the longer run.
→ HubSpot vs. Salesforce for pricing: Salesforce has pricier starting costs, but in terms of scalability, it is less expensive overall than HubSpot.
A proper CRM solution should be able to tie up all the odds and ends of a typical front-facing role as well as perform data analysis to improve business operations.
Sales, where businesses manage purchases, supply and demand chains, inventory, etc., and any categorically related data, plays a big role in any standard CRM system.
Marketing is likewise a business essential. Businesses must send the best representation of themselves to the masses in order to get business in the first place.
Of course, customer service tooling makes up a large part of any CRM platform. Service sectors of CRM tools ensure customer interactions and experiences always go exceptionally well and when they don’t, businesses can remedy the situation.
The good thing is that Salesforce and HubSpot both extend many features supporting the aforementioned intentions of an objectively good CRM platform.
Though you should take note that while Salesforce ranks higher than HubSpot in CRM rankings, HubSpot is known for its user-friendly interface and ease of navigation.
→ HubSpot vs. Salesforce for key features: Both HubSpot and Salesforce give you what you can expect from a CRM.
Related reading: HubSpot vs. WordPress: Side-by-Side Comparison
The use of automation can optimize workplaces, leading to a digital transformation that will reimagine the day-to-day operations of the businesses that employ it. It’s only natural that CRM platforms would take advantage of automation.
HubSpot originally started as a marketing automation tool. Although now it is a full-fledged CRM platform, its various capabilities for automating certain sales and marketing activities are well-received.
Using HubSpot, you can automate workflows for lead rotation and task creation and set up sequences for prospect follow-ups.
Some other examples of automation in HubSpot include automatic data cleansing. call recording, and transcription thanks to the convenience of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
In contrast, Salesforce has Einstein, a custom-built AI that can automate a number of processes.
Einstein can classify different case types and figure out best practices for next steps, turn customer data into intelligent insights, and even answer common questions.
However, despite the impressive nature of Einstein, most agree that HubSpot’s workflows provide large businesses with powerful automation strategies in the form of simple if-then behaviors.
→ HubSpot vs. Salesforce for automation: HubSpot wins.
Reporting & Analytics
Reporting and analytics are important for determining how well your business is performing.
HubSpot has some lag in this regard, but their launch of Marketing Hub Enterprise allowed them to catch up with their competitors.
Salesforce, on the other hand, has always been on top of its game. Their CRM platform is immensely customizable when it comes to their reporting.
The only downside is that you need experts to really make the best of the tools they have available.
Still, that does not take away from the robustness of Salesforce reporting and analytics.
With their tooling, you can identify product and customer issues, mitigate risks with predictive analytics, embed analytics into the agent workspace, and do so much more.
→ HubSpot vs. Salesforce for reporting and analytics: Salesforce wins.
It’s no secret that HubSpot is designed for ease of use. HubSpot’s dashboards are aesthetically pleasing and easily navigable. And a core principle of the platform is accessibility for non-technical business managers and marketers.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that without so much as purchasing a paid plan, you can import your contacts, align them with your HubSpot account, and start organizing your pipeline thereof. That is to say, a HubSpot migration is fairly simple.
As a result, you’ll have a better opportunity to get familiar with HubSpot CRM tools before having to pull out your credit card.
HubSpot Academy and the plethora of free content HubSpot has online for you to learn the particular platform is sure to be of use too.
Salesforce has a 14-day free trial but it’s hard to get excited about something that is by definition limited.
Want to attend Salesforce University (now formally named Salesforce Trailhead)? Well, you’ll have to empty your pockets for that too.
Perhaps the worst part is that Salesforce is not designed to be easy, so a costly education is part of the process unless you want to pay for professionals, which isn’t a bad idea.
→ HubSpot vs. Salesforce for implementation: HubSpot is easier to implement into your business than Salesforce.
HubSpot orients its support resources around documentation. There is an abundance of easy-to-read, helpful references for using HubSpot CRM.
You can also ask for help through email, phone, and Twitter. But this is only for customers at the Professional and Enterprise level.
To add, most consumers prefer a more hands-on approach. Luckily, Salesforce has 24/7 one-on-one customer support — if you’re willing to pay for it.
→ HubSpot vs. Salesforce for support: In spite of the price tag, Salesforce wins.
HubSpot has always had an upper hand where integrations are a concern. This is because their appeal is in their initiative to combine the most desirable of products into one multi-service platform.
Through this means, even HubSpot CMS users have enjoyed the integrative features of HubSpot CRM.
Point being, HubSpot is a fan of integration. The HubSpot App Ecosystem is a massive database of useful third-party apps to integrate into whichever HubSpot platform you decide to use, CMS Hub or HubSpot CRM.
If you find that the ecosystem is lacking you can always use HubSpot APIs to build your own HubSpot app. Salesforce itself is an app available to integrate with your HubSpot account.
In comparison, Salesforce works with some of the more popular third-party applications for its industry. This includes G Suite, Mailchimp, and Quickbooks. Unfortunately, its capacity for integration is simply not as vast as HubSpot CRM.
→ HubSpot vs. Salesforce for integration: HubSpot wins.
Now that you have the concrete data points for comparing and contrasting HubSpot vs. Salesforce, you can read more about the inner workings of each CRM system below.
What Is HubSpot?
HubSpot is an all-encompassing inbounding marketing tool that helps businesses grow through their extensive CRM platform.
The platform is equipped with ample tooling and integrations for the marketing, sales, customer service, and even content management sectors of your business operations.
In reality, HubSpot is a combination of two technologies — a content management system, or CMS, and a customer relationship management tool, or CRM.
The former of these two technologies is sometimes referred to as a content optimization system (COS) to better allude to its exhaustive capabilities.
For the purposes of comparing HubSpot vs. Salesforce, it’s only fair to focus on HubSpot’s CRM platform.
That said, you should probably note that one of the main advantages of HubSpot’s software, in general, is the ability to integrate your CRM and CMS together.
The origins of HubSpot began in 2006 when two classmates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology envisioned something similar to Salesforce but for small businesses. Since then, HubSpot has been wildly successful and can meet the needs of medium and large-sized businesses as well.
The HubSpot CRM platform can be categorized into three different hubs:
- Marketing Hub
- Sales Hub
- Service Hub
You can also deploy CMS Hub and the Operation Hubs — which syncs your data and allows you to program automated processes — as a bonus.
Using the three aforementioned hubs, businesses can attract, engage, and delight customers. In practice, this looks like tailored ad campaigns, funnel reports, playbooks, live chats, ticketing, and much more.
Related reading: 6 Examples of HubSpot CMS Websites
What Is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a CRM service providing a suite of complementary applications for customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM platform was founded in 1999 by developers Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez, and Dave Moellenhoff.
Salesforce’s main focus is customer service and thus elicits tools for task and issue management along with case tracking. On top of that, businesses can connect to social media networks to host conversations.
But this doesn’t even scratch the surface of what Salesforce can do. Within Salesforce, there is a wide array of broad categories for their distinct service provisions:
- Commerce Cloud
- Sales Cloud
- Service Cloud
- Data Cloud
- Marketing Cloud
- Community CLoud
- Manufacturing Cloud
- Analytics Cloud
- App Cloud
- Vaccine Cloud
These are only a few examples of Salesforce services.
You can build apps using the Salesforce Lightning Platform or find pre-existing applications on Salesforce AppExchange.
Utilizing Experience Cloud allows you to create online web properties for external collaboration and build connected websites, portals, and applications.
Salesforce acquired Work.com, a social performance management platform, in 2012. And in 2019, Salesforce launched myTrailhead where Salesforce users can create their own training content and programs.
Other outstanding features of Salesforce include the integration of customer data, personalization features via the service’s AI technology, message triggering based on customer actions, targeted messages, customer interaction tracking, and custom-built apps.
HubSpot vs. Salesforce: How To Choose the Best CRM?
Choosing a CRM system can be a difficult decision. Such a choice will have a big impact on how you navigate customer relations and analytics in the long term which will undoubtedly affect your business growth.
The analysis of HubSpot vs. Salesforce shows that the two CRM systems differ more in execution than ability.
Salesforce has been around for longer than HubSpot and its range of services are impressive. But in some ways, HubSpot conquers over Salesforce if only because of the increased functionality that HubSpot app integrations supply.
And even though the key features for HubSpot vs. Salesforce are fundamentally the same, HubSpot is easier to use and implement in general.
Budget-wise, Salesforce may be a smarter financial decision if you think making ends meet will prove to be difficult in the future, but HubSpot is free to start.
Drawing conclusions is challenging one way or the other.
Salesforce is suitable for businesses that want a data-intensive, customer-centric approach. But HubSpot can bring much of the same benefits with a more user-friendly touch and a slight pivot to content curation as a business strategy.
Needless to say, your decision will ultimately come down to what you feel works best for you and your business; but hopefully, this side-by-side HubSpot vs. Salesforce comparison has been helpful for your decision-making process.
HubSpot and Salesforce are two, capable CRM systems that can magnify, streamline, and optimize the process by which you interact with and analyze your customer base.
Both platforms are high-ranking enough to be worthy of competition. Yet HubSpot vs. Salesforce offers no clear winner.
The best CRM is less of an objective matter and more of a personal investigation into the needs of your business and the proficiencies of your internal staff structure.
For example, Salesforce requires expert familiarity to generate value for your business. HubSpot on the whole is more accessible, but to take full advantage of its features, HubSpot developers are a must.
At Trio, our developers are HubSpot certified and recognize that the platform has the potential to launch your business model to next-level destinations.
Hire HubSpot developers at Trio today to get started!
Frequently Asked Questions
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A customer-relationship management (CRM) platform is a service for businesses to monitor their working relationship with customers whether that be for sales, customer service, market analysis, or something else that falls into the general niche of connecting businesses to consumers.
HubSpot is a combination of two technologies — a content management system, or CMS, and a customer relationship management tool, or CRM. The HubSpot CRM platform can be categorized into three different hubs: Marketing Hub; Sales Hub; and Service Hub.
Salesforce is a software-as-as-service (SaaS) CRM service providing a suite of complementary applications for customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development. Within Salesforce, there is a wide array of broad categories for their distinct service provisions: Commerce Cloud; Sales Cloud; Service Cloud; Data Cloud; and more.